To the top of Maui!
Starting in Makawao
There are a lot of ways to plan a day to
see Haleakalā National Park. Many people book a ticket to be
at the peak for sunrise (6:30am) and many of them ride a bike down
from the peak to the ocean. Some go up during the day and
return before sunset. Our plan was to go up after lunch and
stay for sunset. Given that we didn't need to head up until
after lunch, we decided to visit Makawao to find lunch and a
little shopping first.
Sometimes you get the feeling it's the "right kind" of
shopping. Makawao appears to be a small town but the
stores demonstrate that a lot of tourists with money come through
on a normal day. We stopped into an art gallery and saw a
painting for sale for more than 80 thousand US dollars. The
gardens around the shops were nice. Helen bought a nice
We had lunch at Polli's - a small Mexican
themed restaurant on the corner. After a bit more shopping,
we got on the road to go up the mountain.
Driving up to Haleakala
Hosmer Grove is just past the entrance gates
to the National Park. Reading about, you wonder why it's an
attraction - most of the trees are planted from imported species
and it sits at the edge of clear cut. We got there just as
the fog (clouds) started rolling in, but it was still worth the
time to go for the hike. The reason people come here is to
see the birds - a handful of Hawaiian endemic species that haven't
yet been wiped out by introduced species.
As we drove up to the gates of the park, we
hit the cloud layer. I wasn't sure how thick it was or how
long it would stay around, but we were in it by the time we found
parking at Hosmer Grove.
There is a short well marked trail at
Hosmer grove. We took it and came to a look out over a gully
where a stream comes down the mountain. There was a couple
there with binoculars and they were having some luck seeing birds
in the trees.
These are small birds a long way away which
even with a big lens are hard to spot. They traveled
together in small (4 to 8) flocks. Talking with the other
people, apparently they had better sighting right in the camground
next to the parking lot, but it's just lucky when and where they
show up. I was happy to have seen anything given how rare
both of these birds are.
To the Peak!
We drove up to the peak area to see the view. It was
great to leave the cloud layer and get a mostly blue sky, but even
near the peak of the mountain, the clouds were just below
us. The view of "Crater" was complete obscured by
cloud. The visitor center was closed because of COVID (but
the bathrooms were open and clean).
We did the very short walk up the Pā Ka'oao Trail to the peak
outside of the visitor center. It gave us a great view of
the fog bank that covered the crater. As we came back down a
hole opened up to reveal the Sliding Sands Trail, but the hole
closed up again minutes later.
We drove over to the parking for the
summit and claimed a good parking spot. This area has a
small garden full of the Silversword plant. They bloom once
after about 50 years and then die - this year there were no
blooming examples but there were a few "recently dead" plants to
show that it does happen up here.
When I do a timelapse of a sunset, I like to start about an hour
before actual sunset so you get a good run up to the event.
Even an hour before, there were people claiming spots to
sit. As the sun got closer to the horizon, more people
arrived and fill in the hill side. Apparently the parking
lot filled and then people started to double parking, blocking
people in. We were committed. Sadly the kids didn't
have iPads so they drove Helen nuts until just before sunset when
they came out to spend time with me.
Again for a good time lapse, you have to stick around for about an
hour after the actual sunset. You want to do this anyway because a
lot of nice colours come out after the sun is below the horizon, but
it also lets you see the "blue" period as the city lights come to
dominate the scene. The kids were already tired so there was a
limit to how long I could stay.
The road is very well marked for driving in the dark and we left
late enough that there were no crowds. It still took 1.5 hours
to get home so the kids were just bushed by the time we got them to
bed. A great day!
Tags: Hawaii(11), bird(4), fog(4), telescope(2), crowd(1), sunset(1)
People: Helen(3), John(1), Claira(1), Nara(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2021 to 2005 > Maui > Haleakala
Last Modified Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 at 11:00:10 Edit
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